There are many myths surrounding SBA loans. Some of these myths are substantial and strong enough to discourage a small business owner from expanding, getting out from under onerous debt, or even staying in business. Understanding how an SBA loan works and how to successfully get one for your business is a matter of separating the facts from the myths. You may recognize yourself in some of the following misconceptions of SBA loans. You will finish this article more informed and in possession of the facts. The facts regarding SBA loans can help you to be a better, more successful small business owner.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA recognizes that small business is critical to America’s economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

THE 7 MYTHS

Myth #1- All banks evaluate the risks of a SBA loan request with the same viewpoint.

Financial Fact- Although all banks are subject to the same SBA Guidelines, the rules are subject to different interpretations with respect to analyzing a particular loan request. Some banks may be willing to take greater risks. Some banks will take a more optimistic evaluation of the facts and your business’ future success. Therefore, choosing the best bank for your SBA loan needs can make the difference between loan approval and denial.

Myth #2- All banks offer the exact same types of financing for SBA loans.

Financial Fact- Loan pricing and structure can vary substantially at different banks. Interest rates on SBA loans are based on the prime rate plus a margin. Some banks are more competitive in price to be leaders in SBA lending. Some banks will carve-out a provision for accounts receivable and inventory financing from their loan agreement to permit additional third party commercial financing in addition to the SBA loan. For the same loan, some banks will require additional collateral guarantees, such as a lien on your house. Evaluating the adequacy of such additional collateral guarantees is also subject to interpretation.

Myth #3- It takes too long to get through the red tape of SBA loans.

Financial Fact- This may be true if the bank has to deal through the SBA bureaucracy. Many lenders have “delegated authority” to directly approve a SBA loan. They can provide a full written loan proposal within 48 hours, and some provide a loan commitment within a week of receiving a full loan package. Closing the loan depends on the specific requirements of each transaction, but takes no longer than closing a conventional commercial loan. If the loan requires an appraisal, this may add several weeks to the process.

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